Colin Mercer, one of the leading strategic research and development experts for the creative sector worldwide, passed away in July, 2013. Honouring his broad experience gained during over 30 years work as a professor, researcher and advisor in fields such as cultural mapping and planning, indicator development and creative industries policies, the Compendium editors selected him in 2012 as a Special Advisor to the Expert Group on Cultural Participation Issues.
In June 2012, at the Compendium/CultureWatchEurope event in Helsinki, Colin gave one of his last public presentations.
Since this contribution could indeed be interpreted as his legacy for researchers and other cultural policy experts, we feature it again.
On the 12-13th December 2013 the 12th Assembly of Compendium Experts will be held at the "Architekturzentrum" in Vienna in the framework of the Austrian Presidency of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe. The event contributes to the follow-up on the Ministerial Conference on Culture (Moscow, 15-16 April 2013) by offering an internal seminar and public forum on "Culture and Democracy in the Digital Era - Hopes and Threats" (for more information please look at the latest version of the Vienna Agenda).
At this event, cultural policy makers, experts and practitioners from all over Europe plan to identify indicators on culture’s contribution to democracy and will – based on empirical evidence or case-studies – debate controversial issues such as the conditions for cultural creation, innovation, and dissemination in the digital era, while considering the largest possible cultural access and participation. The results of the seminar and public forum, envisaged to bring together up to hundred specialists, will be fed back into the work process on the implementation of the Moscow Action Plan.
In addition, the 2013 Assembly of Experts marks the 15th anniversary of this unique information and monitoring platform, which started 1998 under the auspices of the Culture Committee of the Council of Europe, at the time as an experiment with 7 country profiles. 15 years later, nearly all countries subscribing to the European Cultural Convention are part of the Compendium 'community of practice', with the last few missing expected to join in the coming years.
Introducing the new THEMES! section, December 2012
Since the start of the Compendium project nearly 15 years ago, cultural access and participation were seen as important issues to be dealt with on this information and monitoring platform. Until now, related information and data could be found in various sub-sections of individual Compendium country profiles as well as in a number of comparative / statistical tables that address e.g.: active cultural participation in Europe; participation in selected cultural activities; Internet penetration rates and Facebook users; trends in visits of libraries and in reading; number of screens and cinema admissions per capita; etc.
However, since equitable cultural access and participation have long been considered to be an important human right and since related issues recently gained momentum in the European political discourse where broad civil society participation is now seen as an essential factor of democratic governance, including in social inclusion policies and as a means to foster intercultural dialogue, the Compendium Editors decided to further underline its transversal character in a special THEMES! section.
Together with important background documents and links to research, the information provided in the new section can assist governments and NGOs in their efforts to start monitoring and comparing policies and related measures that aim at enhancing cultural participation or improving access to arts, media and heritage activities for different groups of the population.
More empirical evidence is to follow, including in the context of the Cultural Participation Research Process that was initiated at the 2012 Compendium Assembly and the connected CultureWatchEurope conference in Helsinki. A Council of Europe Ministerial Conference to be held 2013 in Moscow could turn out to be the next important step on that road towards more evidence-based policymaking.
The ICC Index - with a focus on the intercultural integration of migrants and minorities - attempts to assess and compare the current status and performance of now 58 cities (with more to come in the near future).
Cities of Bilbao, Limassol, Mexico City and Zurich were reindexed in 2013 and the cities of Coimbra and Hamburg were recently added to the ICC Index!
The ICC Index aims to start needed debates by highlighting a few facts and processes which suggest the level of interculturality of a city.
Compare different cities and indicators at ICC Charts
The cultural policy profiles of Austria, Germany and Liechtenstein are now also accessible in German language, those of France and Monaco in French language!
Cyprus as well as Bosnia and Herzegovina plan to deliver their first national cultural policy profiles soon. Preparations for new profiles are to start this year in Belarus and Luxembourg.
The number of country profiles will then grow to 46!
Presents integrated information on cross-cutting, transversal issues of priority to cultural policy makers and analysts:
Updated comparative tables and graphs on population, participation, markets, employment, public funding
Updated comparative tables on cultural policy governance and other issues.
Compilation of articles on comparative methodologies and the links between research and policy development
Publish your work in this space by submitting your articles for review!
The Compendium Community is engaged in a number of exercises to monitor the implementation of:
The Compendium is recognised as a key instrument of the Council of Europe's CultureWatchEurope governance initiative.
Erminia Sciacchitano...is currently delegate for the follow up of cooperation with the Council of Europe at the Secretariat General of the Italian Ministry for Heritage, Cultural Activities and Tourism and Chair of the CDCPP of the CoE.